Yield
Serves 4 generously

A deeply savoury börek filled with rice, sultanas, pine nuts and chard. It is baked as a large pie rather than as small pastries, making it ideal for a lunchtime gathering. The fleshy sultanas give it a lovely sweet note. Yufka pastry, often for sale in Turkish/Mediterranean shops, is slightly thicker than filo pastry and usually comes in generously sized sheets; if you can find it, buy it.

LISTEN: Caroline Eden embarks on a culinary expedition of the Black Sea region

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 shallots, finely diced
  • 100g/ 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon basmati rice
  • 50g/1 3/4 oz sultanas
  • 200ml/generous 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 6 Swiss chard leaves (kale works as a substitute)
  • 100g/3 1/2 oz feta, crumbled
  • 2 medium eggs, plus 1 extra egg, beaten, to glaze
  • 40g/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • 30g/1oz pine nuts
  • 12 sheets of yufka/filo pastry, cut to 18 x 24cm/7 x 9-in rectangles
  • 2 teaspoons nigella or sesame seeds
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

book cover with title and illustration that mimics waves and water of the Black SeaBlack Sea: Dispatches and Recipes
by Caroline Eden

Directions

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently sauté the shallots with a pinch of salt. When softened and translucent, stir in the rice and add the sultanas, coating it all in the oil, then add the chicken stock. Season with plenty of ground black pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Set aside to cool.

While the rice is cooking, cut off the tough tips of the chard but keep the stalks, rinse well and chop into bite-sized pieces. Combine the chard with the cheese and eggs in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Add the cooled rice.

Next, thoroughly grease a 20cm/8-in square tin and toast the pine nuts gently in a hot, dry frying pan until golden. Remove and leave to cool slightly before adding to the chard and rice mix.

Layer 4 sheets of yufka/filo in the greased tin to cover the base, with 2 sheets forming a layer one way, another 2 the other way (as your tin is square and the sheets are rectangular), brushing each sheet with a little melted butter as you go. Add half the filling mixture, then add another 4 sheets of pastry in the same way, brushing with melted butter again. Add the remaining filling and, finally, add a top layer of 4 pastry sheets in the same way. Trim the excess, tucking under the corners and edges as you go so you have a neat top.

Brush the top well with the beaten egg and sprinkle over the seeds. Bake for 30–35 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Leave it to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe excerpted with permission from Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes by Caroline Eden, published by Quadrille May 2019. Winner of the 2019 Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards ‘Travel Food and Drink Book of the Year’ and the 2018 André Simon Awards ‘John Avery Award’.